Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Three Biggest Right-Wing Lies About Poverty

Rather than confront poverty by extending jobless benefits to the long-term unemployed, endorsing a higher minimum wage, or supporting jobs programs, conservative Republicans are taking a different tack.
They’re peddling three big lies about poverty. To wit:
Lie #1: Economic growth reduces poverty.
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“The best anti-poverty program,” wrote Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, in the Wall Street Journal, “is economic growth.” Wrong. Since the late 1970s, the economy has grown 147 percent per capita but almost nothing has trickled down. The typical American worker is earning just about what he or she earned three decades ago, adjusted for inflation.
Meanwhile, the share of Americans in poverty remains around 15 percent. That’s even higher than it was in the early 1970s.
How can the economy have grown so much while most people’s wages go nowhere and the poor remain poor? Because almost all the gains have gone to the top.

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